Stressed about Finals?

Take a deep breath…and read on to find more strategies to manage your stress and finish strong.

UF students report that stress is the top health concern that adversely affects their academic success. Feeling overwhelmed with all that you have to do can lead to procrastination. Just remember that even small steps will move you closer to your goal.

These 5 simple strategies can help you finish the semester well:

Preplan

Set goals, identify priorities, create a schedule, and start early!

  • Assess your workload. What do you need to do between now and the end of the semester? Try using a planner or calendar to help you prioritize what to tackle first. Make a daily or weekly to-do list and break big projects into small steps. It helps to have things written down so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting important tasks.
  • Reward yourself. Plan ways to reward yourself for crossing key tasks off your to-do list. Even small positive rewards can boost your mood and reinforce all the hard work you have been doing. Knowing that something you enjoy awaits can also increase your motivation to stay focused and finish the task.

Get Active

Fit some type of physical activity into your schedule every day.

  • Aim to schedule time each day to be physically active. Exercise helps your muscles release tension, burns off stress hormones, and releases endorphins (feel-good hormones). If you are having trouble finding time to go to the gym multiple times a week, try incorporating simple things such as going for a walk between classes, doing some jumping jacks or lunges, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Break it Up

Take regular study breaks.

  • Taking 5-15 minute energizing breaks throughout your day will help you get a fresh look at what you are working on and can reduce frustration. A quick break can help reduce tension and improve your concentration when you return to the task. Some energizing break ideas: take a 10 minute walk outside, play a game of Sudoku, challenge your friend to a thumb war, doodle or color, eat a healthy snack, or listen to uplifting or energizing music.

 

Relax

Take time for you by building a little relaxation into each day.

  • Make time for yourself! Living a balanced life is important to your overall wellbeing. Schedule time to take care of yourself and manage your stress. Set aside time each day to do something that you enjoy such as volunteering, hiking, dancing, going to sporting events, or spending time with friends.
  • Learn how to calm yourself in a stressful situation. Find “in the moment” strategies that work for you. Some ideas to try: deep breathing, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization exercises.

Rest up

Get adequate sleep to feel rested every day.

  • Sleep helps to consolidate memory and learning, increases your ability to process new information, and boosts mood and energy levels. We need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to perform optimally.
  • To get your best quality and quantity of sleep consider: creating a relaxing bedtime ritual, creating a relaxing sleep environment, and setting a consistent sleep schedule where you go to bed and wake up in the same one to two hour time frame every day of the week.

 

Find more strategies to manage your time and stress.

  1. Watch Study Tips for the End of the Term – This video by UF’s Reading and Writing Center can help you formulate a strategy to take advantage of the pre-finals time that you have to work with.
  2. Consider taking advantage of free campus resources like GatorWell’s Wellness Coaching for Academic Success program, or the Counseling and Wellness Center’s Biofeedback lab to learn even more strategies to manage stress.

 

At the Grocery Store. Sticking to a grocery list and buying only what you know you will use can reduce unpleasant surprises at the register.

  • Eating Better on a Budget
  • Smart Shopping tips and strategies
  • Opt for items that you can enjoy for multiple meals. Canned black beans, (frozen) chicken breast, cheese, salsa, whole wheat tortillas, and lettuce are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein.  Turn them into burritos, quesadillas, and a taco salad.
  • Buy produce that is in season-it is often far less expensive than produce that is not in season. You can also produce on sale to freeze for later or for smoothies!
  • Buy items in bulk when possible-this always cuts costs. Wards Super Market is a good place to start.
  • Consider trying a new recipe with friends and roommates.  Splitting up the ingredient costs and prep time can make it more manageable and you can all enjoy the leftovers.

Eating on Campus-know your options. Take a look around the dining locations that are most convenient for your schedule or check out Gator Dining’s website for a guide to smart food choices at locations across campus.

Stressed about Finals?

Take a deep breath…and read on to find more strategies to manage your stress and finish strong.

UF students report that stress is the top health concern that adversely affects their academic success. Feeling overwhelmed with all that you have to do can lead to procrastination. Just remember that even small steps will move you closer to your goal.

These 5 simple strategies can help you finish the semester well:

Preplan

Set goals, identify priorities, create a schedule, and start early!

  • Assess your workload. What do you need to do between now and the end of the semester? Try using a planner or calendar to help you prioritize what to tackle first. Make a daily or weekly to-do list and break big projects into small steps. It helps to have things written down so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting important tasks.
  • Reward yourself. Plan ways to reward yourself for crossing key tasks off your to-do list. Even small positive rewards can boost your mood and reinforce all the hard work you have been doing. Knowing that something you enjoy awaits can also increase your motivation to stay focused and finish the task.

Get Active

Fit some type of physical activity into your schedule every day.

  • Aim to schedule time each day to be physically active. Exercise helps your muscles release tension, burns off stress hormones, and releases endorphins (feel-good hormones). If you are having trouble finding time to go to the gym multiple times a week, try incorporating simple things such as going for a walk between classes, doing some jumping jacks or lunges, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Break it Up

Take regular study breaks.

  • Taking 5-15 minute energizing breaks throughout your day will help you get a fresh look at what you are working on and can reduce frustration. A quick break can help reduce tension and improve your concentration when you return to the task. Some energizing break ideas: take a 10 minute walk outside, play a game of Sudoku, challenge your friend to a thumb war, doodle or color, eat a healthy snack, or listen to uplifting or energizing music.

 

Relax

Take time for you by building a little relaxation into each day.

  • Make time for yourself! Living a balanced life is important to your overall wellbeing. Schedule time to take care of yourself and manage your stress. Set aside time each day to do something that you enjoy such as volunteering, hiking, dancing, going to sporting events, or spending time with friends.
  • Learn how to calm yourself in a stressful situation. Find “in the moment” strategies that work for you. Some ideas to try: deep breathing, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization exercises.

Rest up

Get adequate sleep to feel rested every day.

  • Sleep helps to consolidate memory and learning, increases your ability to process new information, and boosts mood and energy levels. We need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to perform optimally.
  • To get your best quality and quantity of sleep consider: creating a relaxing bedtime ritual, creating a relaxing sleep environment, and setting a consistent sleep schedule where you go to bed and wake up in the same one to two hour time frame every day of the week.

 

Find more strategies to manage your time and stress.

  1. Watch Study Tips for the End of the Term – This video by UF’s Reading and Writing Center can help you formulate a strategy to take advantage of the pre-finals time that you have to work with.
  2. Consider taking advantage of free campus resources like GatorWell’s Wellness Coaching for Academic Success program, or the Counseling and Wellness Center’s Biofeedback lab to learn even more strategies to manage stress.